General Microbiology
Additional InfoLecturesSyllabuseCollege


Why cite?

  1. So that the reader can find the original source of the information
  2. Through publication, a scholarly dialogue occurs. A lack of citation would make this dialogue impossible.
  3. It is considered plagiarism not to.

When is it necessary to cite?

”Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person’s work”
(Style sheets for citing Resources - UC Berkeley Teaching Library Internet Workshops)
Accessed Oct. 24, 2006

What format should I use?

  • In science there is no one format that is always considered best. Three different formats (the name-and-year, the alphabet-number and the citation order systems) are often used ( Unless otherwise specified (below) in this class, feel free to use any one of these three.
  • Often we will ask that you choose a scientific journal and use the format specified on the instructions for authors website.
  • Here is a link to the instructions for authors website for the Journal of Bacteriology:
  • If specific info. is not listed for internet sources use guidelines on
  • If specific information is not listed, cite lab manuals just as you would books and to cite lectures, use the following format:
    Name of lecturer. “Title of Lecture.” Class name. University Name. Location of Lecture. Date.

Is it ever unnecessary to cite a source?

  • If it is general knowledge (e.g. Prokaryotic cells lack a true membrane-bound nucleus.)
  • If it is your original work
  • If you are writing an abstract

How do I determine the quality of a source?

Wikipedia caution:

Wikipedia is open courseware. This means that anyone can edit (change or modify) the information. In terms of quality as a source, this is both good and bad. In many ways it is peer review at its most extreme; everyone has the ability to edit the work. However, it also is not protected from falsification. Therefore, do not be surprised if certain instructors do not accept Wikipedia as a source. In this class, you may use Wikipedia but only as a supplement to other sources. It is often a good place to start; it gives a broad overview of the topic and helps to get you oriented to embark on further research. *Never use Wikipedia blindly, always ask the questions suggested in the above website assessment suggestions.


Rachel Watson, M.S.
AG 5010
Cell: 307-314-9636